If you were charged with assault, it is understandable to be overwhelmed and frightened. The legal system in Florida provides for harsh penalties upon conviction for an assault conviction, and the thought of navigating this complex system alone can seem daunting to anyone.
Fortunately, a Lake Worth assault defense lawyer from Leifert & Leifert could help. Our team of skilled defense attorneys will explain your rights, assess the circumstances of your case, and work with you to build a strong defense and protect you against allegations.
What are the Different Types of Assault Charges in Lake Worth?
While they are often connected in both popular and legal interpretations, the letter of Florida state law distinguishes between the crimes of “assault” and “battery.” In practice, this means you could face multiple charges for these two different crimes as the result of one incident. Beyond this, a Defendant can also end up facing multiple assault charges if there was more than one alleged victim.
As defined in Florida Statutes §784.001, an assault is an intentional threat of violence that causes someone to be fearful of imminent harm. An act of battery, on the other hand, involves actually touching or striking another person without their permission and in a way that causes harm. The law further delineates two types of assault—simple assault and aggravated assault—which each have substantially different potential penalties. If you are facing assault penalties, you should reach out to an accomplished criminal attorney immediately.
A simple assault—sometimes referred to as a “Misdemeanor assault”—often involves some combination of gestures, shouting, and threats with the apparent ability to immediately carry out the act. However, words by themselves are not enough to sustain a charge of assault. A simple assault is classified as a second-degree Misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, up to 6-months of probation, and a fine of up to $500.
An aggravated assault, sometimes referred to as a “Felony assault,” is one that involves the use of a deadly weapon without the intent to kill or occurs during the commission of a felony. Typically, an aggravated assault is classified as a third-degree Felony.
In Florida, a third-degree felony conviction can result in imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. A Lake Worth assault attorney could help you contest either a Misdemeanor or Felony assault charge as your case demands.
What are the Civil Consequences and Trial Alternatives of an Assault Charge?
Quite often, the claimant in a criminal assault case will also bring a civil lawsuit against the alleged perpetrator. In such situations, the outcome of the criminal case can have a major impact on the outcome of any subsequent civil case, as a criminal conviction may be considered constructive evidence of civil liability for the same act. This is further reason why an effective defense could be imperative for anyone facing criminal charges, as could working with a dedicated assault lawyer in Lake Worth.
In some cases, Defendants can be assigned to a Pre-Trial Diversion Program that would require them to do community service or enroll in an anger management program. If they complete these agreed-upon duties on time, the charges against them would then be dismissed. This can prove beneficial in many ways—beyond not having to serve a prison sentence, you would also not have a criminal record.
How a Lake Worth Assault Attorney Could Help
You should not have to face the Florida state legal system alone, nor should you have to build a defense against accusations by yourself. If you were charged with any type of assault, you might benefit from the counsel of a Lake Worth assault defense lawyer at Leifert & Leifert to discuss your available options.
At Leifert & Leifert, we take pride in offering free consultations and case reviews to prospective clients to help them get started on their cases. For more information on protecting your rights, call today.